Category Archives: Game Preview

Game Preview: 4/6/19 at Detroit

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, April 4
Ottawa 2 at Buffalo 5
Goals: Olofsson, Okposo, Reinhart, Eichel, Pominville
Goalie: Hutton (21 saves/23 shots)
PP: 2/3; PK: 4/4; Shots: Buffalo 40 – Ottawa 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 248)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (upper body, March 23) – 8 games
Zach Bogosian (lower body, March 25) – 7 games
Vladimir Sobotka (upper body, March 30) – 4 games
Marco Scandella (lower body, March 31) – 3 games
Alexander Nylander (lower body, April 4) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
4/3: Assigned D William Borgen to Rochester (AHL)

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at RED WINGS

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Red Wings this season.
  • Last meeting: Detroit defeated Buffalo 5-4 (OT) in Buffalo on March 28
  • The Sabres are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Red Wings; 5-4-1 on the road.
  • This is the 141st game all-time between Buffalo and Detroit; Buffalo has a 62-59-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 24-39-8 on the road against the Red Wings all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-6-2 all-time on April 6.
  • April 6, 1980: Danny Gare scores twice in a 7-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Aud to finish the regular season with 56 goals.
  • April 6, 1995: Craig Muni appears in his 100th game as a member of the Sabres, a 1-1 tie at Boston.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 7-2-2 against the Red Wings since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, including a 4-1-0 record on the road and a 2-0-1 record so far this season.
  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would have wins in at least three consecutive visits to Detroit for just the second time in franchise history, joining Buffalo’s five-game road winning streak against the Red Wings from Oct. 25, 1979 to Dec. 12, 1981. The Sabres also went undefeated in three straight visits from Jan. 2, 1986 to Dec. 23, 1987 (1-0-2).
  • The Sabres have killed 27 of 30 penalties (90.0%) against Detroit in their last eight meetings, dating back to March 20, 2017.
  • With 80 points (28+52) through 76 games, Jack Eichel is guaranteed to post the Sabres’ best points-per-game rate in an 82-game season since Daniel Briere (1.17) and Maxim Afinogenov (1.09) in 2006-07.
  • With his 217th career regular-season goal as a Sabre on Thursday vs. Ottawa, Jason Pominville passed Don Luce for sole possession of 10th-most goals in franchise history.
  • The Sabres are 23-17-7 all-time in the final game of the regular season.

HOT AGAINST DETROIT

  • Jack Eichel has nine points (4+5) in nine games against the Red Wings since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, including four points (2+2) in four meetings in Detroit.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has totaled 14 points (1+13) in 14 games against Detroit since the beginning of the 2015-16 season, including points in each of his last four (1+4).
  • Casey Mittelstadt has totaled four points (2+2) in four career games against the Red Wings, including three (2+1) in three meetings this season.
  • Kyle Okposo has scored in each of Buffalo’s last two games against Detroit.
  • Linus Ullmark, who started all three of Buffalo’s previous games against the Red Wings this season, is 2-0-2 against Detroit in his career with a .918 save percentage.
  • In his last two games against the Red Wings, Carter Hutton has stopped 60 of his 61 shots faced and won both contests.
  • Victor Olofsson made his NHL debut when these teams last met on March 28 in Buffalo, recording his first career point with an assist.

ASSISTOLAINEN

  • Rasmus Ristolainen, who has recorded an assist in each of Buffalo’s last two games, has turned in his fourth consecutive season featuring at least 40 points (5+36).
  • He has become just the third defenseman in Sabres history to record 40 points in at least four consecutive seasons, joining Phil Housley and Jerry Korab.
  • Now in his sixth season with the Sabres, Ristolainen ranks ninth all-time among Sabres defensemen in both assists (156) and points (192).
  • Ristolainen’s 26 even-strength points this season (4+22) have surpassed his previous single-season high of 20 set in the 2015-16 season.

SHOOTERS SHOOT
Entering play Friday, Jack Eichel ranked fifth in the NHL with a career-high 301 shots on goal this season. His total marks the seventh 300-shot season in Sabres history and the first since Alexander Mogilny (360) and Pat LaFontaine (306) in 1992-93.

WELCOME TO THE NHL

  • Victor Olofsson, who made his NHL debut on March 28 vs. Detroit, has recorded four points (2+2) in his first five NHL games.
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Olofsson ranks among Buffalo’s leaders in shots (2nd, 18), shot attempts (1st, 34) and scoring chances (2nd, 15) in his five games with the team.
  • He also leads the team at 5-on-5 during those games in corsi for percentage (62.33%), shots for percentage (65.00%) and scoring chances for percentage (66.67%).
  • In his first season in North America, Olofsson has recorded a team-high 60 points (27+33) in 64 AHL games with the Rochester Americans entering play Friday, also leading all Rochester skaters in assists and tying for the team lead in goals. He led all SHL players with 27 goals in 2017-18.

A FRESH START

  • Through his first 19 games with the Sabres, Brandon Montour has recorded nine points (2+7), trailing only Jack Eichel (7+5) for most points during that stretch. Seven of his nine points as a Sabre (2+5) have come at even strength.
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Montour’s CF%, FF% and SCF% during 5-on-5 play through 19 games with the Sabres top his full-season rates in each of those categories from both of his first two NHL seasons, as well as his rates through 62 games with Anaheim this season.
  • In these 19 games, Montour has also seen a drastic uptick in scoring rates in goals (.34), assists (.68) and points (1.02) per 60 minutes played at 5-on-5 compared to his rates from the last two seasons.

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • Entering play Friday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and tied for fourth among all NHL rookies in points (42). His 34 assists ranked second among all rookies.
  • With 42 points (8+34) through 81 games, Dahlin will finish the season with more points per game than he had in the Swedish Hockey League last season, when he totaled 20 points (7+13) in 41 games for Frölunda.
  • With his assist on March 20 vs. Toronto, Dahlin passed Bobby Orr (38 points in 1966-67) for the second-most points ever recorded by an NHL defenseman before his 19th birthday. He now trails only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83).
  • With seven multi-point games this season, Dahlin has recorded more multi-point games as an 18-year-old than all but two defensemen in NHL history: Housley (13) and Orr (8).
  • Dahlin’s three game-winning goals this season are the most ever recorded by a Sabres rookie defenseman. His total also ties for ninth-most by any Sabres rookie and eighth-most in a season by any defenseman in franchise history.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel has set new career-high marks in goals (28), assists (52) and points (80) this season. He is the first Sabres player to record at least 80 points in a season since Derek Roy (81) and Jason Pominville (80) both did so in 2007-08.
  • Eichel is also the first Sabres player to record at least 50 assists since Jason Pominville (53) in 2007-08 and the first to post at least 55 even-strength points since Daniel Briere (65) and Thomas Vanek (62) in 2006-07.
  • He has joined Vanek and Rick Martin as the third player in franchise history to record at least 20 goals in each of his first four NHL seasons.

SKINNER, SKINNER, CHICKEN DINNER

  • Jeff Skinner has scored a career-high 38 goals this season, becoming the fifth player ever to score at least 35 in his first season with the Sabres.
  • He has tied Gilbert Perreault (1970-71) and Ray Sheppard (1987-88) for third-most ever scored by a first-year Sabre, trailing only Pat LaFontaine (46 in 1991-92) and Rick Martin (44 in 1971-72).
  • Skinner’s 30 even-strength goals are already the most ever recorded by player in his first year with the Sabres, breaking a record previously held by Danny Gare (26) since 1974-75.
  • Skinner needs two goals to become the first Sabres player to score at least 40 goals since Thomas Vanek (40) in 2008-09. He would become just the 11th different player in Sabres history to score at least 40 in a season.

LEADING THE WAY
Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have both shattered their previous career high point totals on the strength of improved production at even strength:

Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 76 28 52 80 20 35 55
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 81 21 43 64 19 30 49

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 4/5 games)

  • Eichel: 301 S (5th)
  • Ristolainen: 24:41 TOI/GP (9th)
  • Skinner: 3 OTG (T-3rd), 30 EVG (T-6th), 7 GWG (T-9th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (232), Girgensons (142), Larsson (109)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (121), Bogosian (116), McCabe (98)
Shots: Eichel (301), Skinner (263), Ristolainen (180)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 4-6-0 (8), 30/34, 1/25, 14/20
51-60: 3-6-1 (7), 26/38, 7/30, 19/22
61-70: 2-8-0 (4), 23/39, 6/27, 18/26
71-80: 1-8-1 (3), 20/42, 4/24, 17/22
81-82: 1-0-0 (2), 5/2, 2/3, 4/4

OVERTIME RESULTS (7-7; 120-128 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)
Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)
Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)
Jan. 16 at CGY: W, 4-3 (GWG-Eichel, 1:10)
Feb. 8 vs. CAR: L, 6-5 (GWG-Teravainen, 3:25)
March 1 vs. PIT: W, 4-3 (GWG-Sheary, 4:11)
March 28 vs. DET: L, 5-4 (GWG-Bertuzzi, 2:18)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (5-3; 75-69 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)
Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)
Feb. 5 vs. MIN: W, 5-4 (GDG-Reinhart)
Feb. 21 at TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stamkos)
March 7 at CHI: L, 5-4 (GDG-Kane)
March 17 vs. STL: W, 4-3 (GDG-Reinhart)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 1 assist … 300 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 2 assists … 200 career assists 

RECENT MILESTONES
Jason Pominville … 217th goal with Sabres (sole possession, 10th in franchise history) … April 4 vs. OTT

Game Preview: 4/4/19 vs. Ottawa

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, April 2
Nashville 3 at Buffalo 2
Goals: Okposo, Skinner
Goalie: Hutton (32 saves/35 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 1/1; Shots: Nashville 35 – Buffalo 28

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 243)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (upper body, March 23) – 7 games
Zach Bogosian (lower body, March 25) – 6 games
Vladimir Sobotka (upper body, March 30) – 3 games
Marco Scandella (lower body, March 31) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
4/3: Assigned D William Borgen to Rochester (AHL)

REMAINING GAMES
Saturday, April 6: Buffalo at Detroit, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SENATORS at SABRES

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Senators this season.
  • Last meeting: Ottawa defeated Buffalo 4-0 in Ottawa on March 26
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Senators; 6-3-1 at home.
  • This is the 141st game all-time between Buffalo and Ottawa; Buffalo has a 68-52-20 series record.
  • The Sabres are 37-23-8 at home against the Senators all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 5-11-2 all-time on April 4.
  • April 4, 1973: The Sabres appear in the first playoff game in franchise history, a 2-1 loss at Montreal.
  • April 4, 1981: The Sabres chase Red Wings goaltender Larry Lozinski with three goals on eight shots in the first period on the way to a 5-4 win in Detroit that featured two-goal performances by Tony McKegney and Andre Savard.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres have gone 9-3-3 in their last 15 games against the Senators and have a 10-4-4 record in their last 18 meetings in Buffalo.
  • Jack Eichel has recorded 16 points (4+12) in 12 career games against the Senators, including at least a point in all but two of those games and eight points (1+7) in six home games. His 1.33 points per game against the Senators represent his highest per-game output against any Eastern Conference opponent.
  • Sam Reinhart has posted 12 points (5+7) in his last 13 games against the Senators.
  • Jason Pominville and Jeff Skinner have both totaled four points (3+1) in three meetings with the Senators so far this season.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has recorded an assist in both of his first two meetings with Ottawa this season and has 10 assists in his last 12 games against the Senators.
  • Scott Wilson has recorded a point in each of his last three games against the Senators (2+1).
  • Casey Mittelstadt has recorded three points (1+2) in two career home games against Ottawa.

ASSISTOLAINEN

  • With his assist on Tuesday vs. Nashville, Rasmus Ristolainen (5+35) has turned in his fourth consecutive season featuring at least 40 points.
  • He has become just the third defenseman in Sabres history to record 40 points in at least four consecutive seasons, joining Phil Housley and Jerry Korab.
  • Now in his sixth season with the Sabres, Ristolainen ranks ninth all-time among Sabres defensemen in both assists (155) and points (191).
  • Ristolainen’s 26 even-strength points this season (4+22) surpassed his previous single-season high of 20 set in the 2015-16 season.

SHOOTERS SHOOT
Entering play Wednesday, Jack Eichel ranked fifth in the NHL with a career-high 298 shots on goal this season. With two more shots this season, Eichel will record the seventh 300-shot season in Sabres history and the first since Alexander Mogilny (360) and Pat LaFontaine (306) in 1992-93.

WELCOME TO THE NHL

  • Victor Olofsson, who made his NHL debut on March 28 vs. Detroit, has recorded two points (1+1) in four NHL games.
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Olofsson ranks among Buffalo’s leaders in shots (T-2nd, 13), shot attempts (T-2nd, 25) and scoring chances (2nd, 11) in his four games with the team.
  • He also leads the team at 5-on-5 during those games in corsi for percentage (57.66%), shots for percentage (60.32%) and scoring chances for percentage (63.64%).
  • In his first season in North America, Olofsson has recorded a team-high 60 points (27+33) in 64 AHL games with the Rochester Americans, also leading all Rochester skaters in assists and tying for the team lead in goals. He led all SHL players with 27 goals in 2017-18.

A FRESH START

  • Through his first 18 games with the Sabres, Brandon Montour has recorded nine points (2+7), tying Jack Eichel (6+3) for most points during that stretch. Seven of his nine points as a Sabre (2+5) have come at even strength.
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Montour’s CF%, FF% and SCF% during 5-on-5 play through 18 games with the Sabres top his full-season rates in each of those categories from both of his first two NHL seasons, as well as his rates through 62 games with Anaheim this season.
  • In these 18 games, Montour has also seen a drastic uptick in scoring rates in goals (.36), assists (.72) and points (1.07) per 60 minutes played at 5-on-5 compared to his rates from the last two seasons.

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • Entering play Wednesday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked fourth among all NHL rookies in points (41). His 33 assists ranked second among all rookies.
  • With 41 points (8+33) through 80 games, Dahlin will finish the season with more points per game than he had in the Swedish Hockey League last season, when he totaled 20 points (7+13) in 41 games for Frölunda.
  • With his assist on March 20 vs. Toronto, Dahlin passed Bobby Orr (38 points in 1966-67) for the second-most points ever recorded by an NHL defenseman before his 19th birthday, trailing only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83).
  • With seven multi-point games so far this season, Dahlin has recorded more multi-point games as an 18-year-old than all but two defensemen in NHL history: Housley (13) and Orr (8).
  • Dahlin’s three game-winning goals this season are the most ever recorded by a Sabres rookie defenseman. His total also ties for ninth-most by any Sabres rookie and eighth-most in a season by any defenseman in franchise history.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel has set new career-high marks in goals (27), assists (50) and points (77) this season. He is the first Sabres player to record at least 75 points in a season since Derek Roy (81) and Jason Pominville (80) both did so in 2007-08.
  • Eichel is also the first Sabres player to record at least 50 assists since Jason Pominville (53) in 2007-08.
  • He has joined Rick Martin and Thomas Vanek as the third player in franchise history to record at least 20 goals in each of his first four NHL seasons.

SKINNER, SKINNER, CHICKEN DINNER

  • Jeff Skinner has scored a career-high 38 goals this season, becoming the fifth player ever to score at least 35 in his first season with the Sabres.
  • He has tied Gilbert Perreault (1970-71) and Ray Sheppard (1987-88) for third-most ever scored by a first-year Sabre, trailing only Pat LaFontaine (46 in 1991-92) and Rick Martin (44 in 1971-72).
  • Skinner’s 30 even-strength goals are already the most ever recorded by player in his first year with the Sabres, breaking a record previously held by Danny Gare (26) since 1974-75.
  • Skinner needs two goals to become the first Sabres player to score at least 40 goals since Thomas Vanek (40) in 2008-09. He would become just the 11th different player in Sabres history to score at least 40 in a season.

LEADING THE WAY
Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have both shattered their previous career high point totals on the strength of improved production at even strength:

Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 75 27 50 77 19 34 53
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 80 20 42 62 18 30 48

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 4/3 games)

  • Eichel: 298 S (5th)
  • Ristolainen: 24:42 TOI/GP (9th)
  • Skinner: 3 OTG (T-3rd), 30 EVG (T-6th), 7 GWG (T-9th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (225), Girgensons (139), Larsson (107)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (121), Bogosian (116), McCabe (95)
Shots: Eichel (298), Skinner (262), Ristolainen (177)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 4-6-0 (8), 30/34, 1/25, 14/20
51-60: 3-6-1 (7), 26/38, 7/30, 19/22
61-70: 2-8-0 (4), 23/39, 6/27, 18/26
71-80: 1-8-1 (3), 20/42, 4/24, 17/22

OVERTIME RESULTS (7-7; 120-128 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)
Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)
Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)
Jan. 16 at CGY: W, 4-3 (GWG-Eichel, 1:10)
Feb. 8 vs. CAR: L, 6-5 (GWG-Teravainen, 3:25)
March 1 vs. PIT: W, 4-3 (GWG-Sheary, 4:11)
March 28 vs. DET: L, 5-4 (GWG-Bertuzzi, 2:18)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (5-3; 75-69 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)
Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)
Feb. 5 vs. MIN: W, 5-4 (GDG-Reinhart)
Feb. 21 at TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stamkos)
March 7 at CHI: L, 5-4 (GDG-Kane)
March 17 vs. STL: W, 4-3 (GDG-Reinhart)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 217 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 10th in franchise history)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 1 assist … 300 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 2 assists … 200 career assists 

RECENT MILESTONES
Victor Olofsson … 1st NHL goal … March 30 at NYI

Game Preview: 4/2/19 vs. Nashville

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Sunday, March 31
Columbus 4 at Buffalo 0
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Ullmark (32 saves/36 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 38 – Columbus 36

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 239)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (upper body, March 23) – 6 games
Zach Bogosian (lower body, March 25) – 5 games
Rasmus Ristolainen (illness, March 26) – 4 games
Vladimir Sobotka (upper body, March 30) – 2 games
Marco Scandella (lower body, March 31) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/27: Recalled F Victor Olofsson from Rochester (AHL)
3/28: Recalled D Matt Tennyson from Rochester (AHL); Assigned F Tage Thompson to Rochester (AHL)

REMAINING GAMES
Thursday, April 4: Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 6: Buffalo at Detroit, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
PREDATORS at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Predators this season.
  • Last meeting: Nashville defeated Buffalo 2-1 in Nashville on Dec. 3, 2018
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Predators; 1-5-4 at home.
  • This is the 27th game all-time between Buffalo and Nashville; Buffalo has a 10-12-4 series record.
  • The Sabres are 1-7-4 at home against the Predators all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-7-3 all-time on April 2.
  • April 2, 2011: Thomas Vanek records his 200th NHL goal in a 5-4 overtime loss at Washington.
  • April 2, 2013: Ryan Miller plays his 492nd game in the NHL, breaking Dominik Hasek’s franchise record for most games played by a goaltender.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Jack Eichel has totaled nine points (3+6) in seven career games against the Predators, including a franchise record-tying five assists on March 31, 2018 in Nashville.
  • Jeff Skinner has posted 16 points (8+8) in 14 career meetings with the Predators.
  • Kyle Okposo has 11 points (6+5) in 12 career games against Nashville.
  • Sam Reinhart has seven points (6+1) in seven career games against the Predators, including four goals in his last two.
  • Jake McCabe has points in each of his last two matchups with the Predators (1+2).

WELCOME TO THE NHL

  • Victor Olofsson, who made his NHL debut on March 28 vs. Detroit, recorded a point in each of his first two NHL games (1+1).
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Olofsson ranks among Buffalo’s leaders in shots (3rd, 10), shot attempts (T-2nd, 18) and scoring chances (2nd, 9) in his three games with the team.
  • He is also among the team’s leaders at 5-on-5 during those games in corsi for percentage (2nd, 62.50%), shots for percentage (2nd, 66.04%) and scoring chance percentage (T-1st, 66.67%).
  • In his first season in North America, Olofsson has recorded a team-high 60 points (27+33) in 64 AHL games with the Rochester Americans, also leading all Rochester skaters in assists and tying for the team lead in goals. He led all SHL players with 27 goals in 2017-18.

A FRESH START

  • Through his first 17 games with the Sabres, Brandon Montour has recorded eight points (2+6), trailing only Jack Eichel (6+3) for most points during that stretch. Six of his eight points as a Sabre (2+4) have come at even strength.
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Montour’s CF%, FF% and SCF% during 5-on-5 play through 17 games with the Sabres top his full-season rates in each of those categories from both of his first two NHL seasons, as well as his rates through 62 games with Anaheim this season.
  • In these 17 games, Montour has also seen a drastic uptick in scoring rates in goals (.38), assists (.57) and points (.94) per 60 minutes played at 5-on-5 compared to his rates from the last two seasons.

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • Entering play Monday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked fourth among all NHL rookies in points (41). His 33 assists ranked second among all rookies.
  • With 41 points (8+33) through 79 games, Dahlin is already guaranteed to finish the season with more points per game than he had in the Swedish Hockey League last season, when he totaled 20 points (7+13) in 41 games for Frölunda.
  • With his assist on March 20 vs. Toronto, Dahlin passed Bobby Orr (38 points in 1966-67) for the second-most points ever recorded by an NHL defenseman before his 19th birthday, trailing only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83).
  • With seven multi-point games so far this season, Dahlin has recorded more multi-point games as an 18-year-old than all but two defensemen in NHL history: Housley (13) and Orr (8).
  • Dahlin’s three game-winning goals this season are the most ever recorded by a Sabres rookie defenseman. His total also ties for ninth-most by any Sabres rookie and eighth-most in a season by any defenseman in franchise history.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel has set new career-high marks in goals (27), assists (50) and points (77) this season. He is the first Sabres player to record at least 75 points in a season since Derek Roy (81) and Jason Pominville (80) both did so in 2007-08.
  • Eichel is the first Sabres player to record at least 50 assists since Jason Pominville (53) in 2007-08.
  • He has also joined Rick Martin and Thomas Vanek as the third player in franchise history to record at least 20 goals in each of his first four NHL seasons.

SKINNER, SKINNER, CHICKEN DINNER

  • Jeff Skinner has scored 37 goals this season, becoming the fifth player ever to score at least 35 in his first season with the Sabres and tying his previous single-season high set in 2016-17.
  • With his next goal, he will tie Gilbert Perreault (1970-71) and Ray Sheppard (1987-88) for third-most ever scored by a first-year Sabre.
  • Skinner’s 29 even-strength goals are already the most ever recorded by player in his first year with the Sabres, breaking a record previously held by Danny Gare (26) since 1974-75.
  • Skinner has a chance to become the first Sabres player to score at least 40 goals since Thomas Vanek (40) in 2008-09. He would become just the 11th different player in Sabres history to score at least 40 in a season.

LEADING THE WAY
Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have both shattered their previous career high point totals on the strength of improved production at even strength:

Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 74 27 50 77 19 34 53
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 79 20 42 62 18 30 48

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 4/1 games)

  • Eichel: 293 S (5th)
  • Ristolainen: 24:42 TOI/GP (9th)
  • Skinner: 3 OTG (T-3rd), 29 EVG (T-6th), 7 GWG (T-7th)

BUF-NSH Connections
Former Predators:

  • Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley was an assistant coach with the Predators from 2013 to 2017.
  • Sabres G Carter Hutton spent three seasons (2013 to 2016) with the Predators, posting a 66-33-23 record with a 2.55 goals-against average and .910 save percentage.

Jason Botterill:

  • Was the assistant general manager for the Penguins when Predators F Nick Bonino was playing in Pittsburgh.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played with Predators F Cody McLeod in Colorado.
  • Played with Predators F Brian Boyle in Toronto.
  • Won a bronze medal for Team USA with Predators F Craig Smith at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Predators F Mikael Granlund in Minnesota.
  • Won a gold medal for Team Sweden with Predators F Filip Forsberg at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo won a second gold medal together at the 2018 IIHF World Championship, a team that Predators F Viktor Arvidsson and D Mattias Ekholm were also on.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played for Team USA with Predators F Craig Smith at the 2014 IIHF World Championship. Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette was the head coach of the team.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for Team USA with Predators F Craig Smith at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Jason Pominville:

  • Played with Predators F Mikael Granlund in Minnesota.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Won a gold medal with Predators D Ryan Ellis while representing Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship with Predators F Mikael Granlund. The duo played together again at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Played for the Finnish National Team with Predators G Juuse Saros at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship. Ristolainen scored the overtime, gold-medal-clinching goal.
  • Represented Finland with Predators G Pekka Rinne at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Marco Scandella:

  • Played with Predators F Mikael Granlund in Minnesota.
  • Won a silver medal for Team Canada with Predators D Ryan Ellis at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Predators F Nick Bonino in Pittsburgh.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played for Team Canada with Predators D P.K. Subban at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
  • Played for Team Canada with Predators F Wayne Simmonds at both 2013 and 2017 IIHF World Championships. The pair won a silver medal together in 2017.

Scott Wilson:

  • Played with Predators F Nick Bonino in Pittsburgh.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (219), Girgensons (139), Larsson (107)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (119), Bogosian (116), McCabe (95)
Shots: Eichel (293), Skinner (260), Ristolainen (177)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 4-6-0 (8), 30/34, 1/25, 14/20
51-60: 3-6-1 (7), 26/38, 7/30, 19/22
61-70: 2-8-0 (4), 23/39, 6/27, 18/26
71-80: 1-7-1 (3), 18/39. 4/21, 16/21

OVERTIME RESULTS (7-7; 120-128 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)
Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)
Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)
Jan. 16 at CGY: W, 4-3 (GWG-Eichel, 1:10)
Feb. 8 vs. CAR: L, 6-5 (GWG-Teravainen, 3:25)
March 1 vs. PIT: W, 4-3 (GWG-Sheary, 4:11)
March 28 vs. DET: L, 5-4 (GWG-Bertuzzi, 2:18)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (5-3; 75-69 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)
Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)
Feb. 5 vs. MIN: W, 5-4 (GDG-Reinhart)
Feb. 21 at TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stamkos)
March 7 at CHI: L, 5-4 (GDG-Kane)
March 17 vs. STL: W, 4-3 (GDG-Reinhart)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 217 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 10th in franchise history)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 1 assist … 300 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 2 assists … 200 career assists 

RECENT MILESTONES
Victor Olofsson … 1st NHL game … March 28 vs. DET
Victor Olofsson … 1st NHL point (assist) … March 28 vs. DET
Jack Eichel … 100th NHL goal … March 28 vs. DET
Victor Olofsson … 1st NHL goal … March 30 at NYI

Game Preview: 3/31/19 vs. Columbus

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, March 30
Buffalo 1 at NY Islanders 5
Goals: Olofsson
Goalie: Hutton (33 saves/38 shots)
PP: 1/2; PK: 1/1; Shots: NY Islanders 38 – Buffalo 32

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 234)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Jake McCabe (upper body, March 4) – 13 games
Matt Hunwick (upper body, March 23) – 5 games
Zach Bogosian (lower body, March 25) – 4 games
Rasmus Ristolainen (illness, March 26) – 3 games
Evan Rodrigues (upper body, March 28) – 2 games
Vladimir Sobotka (upper body, March 30) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/26: Signed D Casey Fitzgerald to a two-year, entry-level contract with an AAV of $925,000; Recalled D William Borgen from Rochester (AHL)
3/27: Recalled F Victor Olofsson from Rochester (AHL)
3/28: Recalled D Matt Tennyson from Rochester (AHL); Assigned F Tage Thompson to Rochester (AHL)

REMAINING GAMES
Tuesday, April 2: Nashville at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, April 4: Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 6: Buffalo at Detroit, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
BLUE JACKETS at SABRES

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Blue Jackets this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Columbus 5-4 in Columbus on Jan. 29
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. Blue Jackets; 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 32nd game all-time between Buffalo and Columbus; Buffalo has an 12-16-3 series record.
  • The Sabres are 7-8-1 at home against the Blue Jackets all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-10-0 all-time on March 31.
  • March 31, 1971: Eddie Shack records his second hat trick in 10 days as the Sabres defeat the Penguins 6-4 in Pittsburgh.
  • March 31, 1992: The Sabres and Minnesota North Stars combine for 360 penalty minutes, including 188 to the Sabres and 172 to the North Stars. All three totals (for, against and combined) still stand as Sabres franchise records.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 2-0-1 in their last three games against the Blue Jackets and enter tonight’s game looking to earn points in four straight games against Columbus for the first time in the all-time series between the teams.
  • With a win tonight, Buffalo would clinch the season series against Columbus for the first time since 2015-16.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 12 points (3+9) in 11 career games against the Blue Jackets, including at least a point in each of his five home games against Columbus (3+4).
  • Kyle Okposo has recorded 10 points (5+5) in his last 11 games against Columbus, including three (2+1) in his last three.
  • Jeff Skinner has totaled 20 points (11+9) in 25 career games against the Blue Jackets, including 13 points (6+7) in his last 12.
  • Conor Sheary and Evan Rodrigues have both recorded three points (2+1) in their last three games against Columbus.
  • Jake McCabe has posted three assists in the first two meetings between these teams this season.
  • Casey Mittelstadt has recorded a point in both of his career games against the Blue Jackets (1+1).
  • Casey Nelson recorded an assist in his only previous game against Columbus.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s final of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 5-1 loss last night at NY Islanders. The Sabres are 7-8-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-7-2 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in their previous back-to-back sets is: four points (3), three points (1), two points (6), one point (2) and zero points (3).

WELCOME TO THE NHL

  • Victor Olofsson, who was recalled on Wednesday and made his NHL on Thursday vs. Detroit, has recorded a point in each of his first two NHL games (1+1).
  • Olofsson has led all Sabres in shots (9) and shot attempts (16) in his two games with the team.
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, he has also led the team in scoring chances (9), as well as corsi for percentage (58.73%), shots for percentage (61.76%) and scoring chance percentage (61.29%) during 5-on-5 play.
  • In his first season in North America, Olofsson has recorded a team-high 60 points (27+33) in 64 AHL games with the Rochester Americans, also leading all Rochester skaters in goals and assists. He led all SHL players with 27 goals in 2017-18.

A FRESH START

  • Through his first 16 games with the Sabres, Brandon Montour has recorded eight points (2+6), trailing only Jack Eichel (6+3) for most points during that stretch. Six of his eight points as a Sabre (2+4) have come at even strength.
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Montour’s CF%, FF% and SCF% during 5-on-5 play through 16 games with the Sabres top his full-season rates in each of those categories from both of his first two NHL seasons, as well as his rates through 62 games with Anaheim this season.
  • In these 16 games, Montour has also seen a drastic uptick in scoring rates in goals (.40), assists (.61) and points (1.01) per 60 minutes played at 5-on-5 compared to his rates from the last two seasons.

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • Following last night’s game, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked third among all NHL rookies in points (41). His 33 assists ranked second among all rookies.
  • With 41 points (8+33) through 78 games, Dahlin is already guaranteed to finish the season with more points per game than he had in the Swedish Hockey League last season, when he totaled 20 points (7+13) in 41 games for Frölunda.
  • With his assist on March 20 vs. Toronto, Dahlin passed Bobby Orr (38 points in 1966-67) for the second-most points ever recorded by an NHL defenseman before his 19th birthday, trailing only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83).
  • With seven multi-point games so far this season, Dahlin has recorded more multi-point games as an 18-year-old than all but two defensemen in NHL history: Housley (13) and Orr (8).
  • Dahlin’s three game-winning goals this season are the most ever recorded by a Sabres rookie defenseman. His total also ties for ninth-most by any Sabres rookie and eighth-most in a season by any defenseman in franchise history.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel has set new career-high marks in goals (27), assists (50) and points (77) this season. He is the first Sabres player to record at least 75 points in a season since Derek Roy (81) and Jason Pominville (80) both did so in 2007-08.
  • Eichel is the first Sabres player to record at least 50 assists since Jason Pominville (53) in 2007-08.
  • He has also joined Rick Martin and Thomas Vanek as the third player in franchise history to record at least 20 goals in each of his first four NHL seasons.

SKINNER, SKINNER, CHICKEN DINNER

  • Jeff Skinner has scored 37 goals this season, becoming the fifth player ever to score at least 35 in his first season with the Sabres and tying his previous single-season high set in 2016-17.
  • With his next goal, he will tie Gilbert Perreault (1970-71) and Ray Sheppard (1987-88) for third-most ever scored by a first-year Sabre.
  • Skinner’s 29 even-strength goals are already the most ever recorded by player in his first year with the Sabres, breaking a record previously held by Danny Gare (26) since 1974-75.
  • Skinner has a chance to become the first Sabres player to score at least 40 goals since Thomas Vanek (40) in 2008-09. He would become just the 11th different player in Sabres history to score at least 40 in a season.

LEADING THE WAY
Each of the Sabres’ top three scorers is currently on pace to top or match his previous personal best in points this season:

Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 73 27 50 77 19 34 53
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 77 28 53 81 20 36 56
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 78 20 42 62 18 30 48
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 21 44 65 19 32 50
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 78 37 23 60 29 15 44
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 39 24 63 30 16 46

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings after last night’s game)

  • Eichel: 285 S (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 24:42 TOI/GP (9th)
  • Skinner: 3 OTG (T-3rd), 29 EVG (T-6th), 7 GWG (T-7th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (219), Girgensons (137), Larsson (107)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (119), Bogosian (116), McCabe (95)
Shots: Eichel (285), Skinner (257), Ristolainen (177)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 4-6-0 (8), 30/34, 1/25, 14/20
51-60: 3-6-1 (7), 26/38, 7/30, 19/22
61-70: 2-8-0 (4), 23/39, 6/27, 18/26
71-80: 1-6-1 (3), 18/35. 4/20, 14/19

OVERTIME RESULTS (7-7; 120-128 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)
Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)
Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)
Jan. 16 at CGY: W, 4-3 (GWG-Eichel, 1:10)
Feb. 8 vs. CAR: L, 6-5 (GWG-Teravainen, 3:25)
March 1 vs. PIT: W, 4-3 (GWG-Sheary, 4:11)
March 28 vs. DET: L, 5-4 (GWG-Bertuzzi, 2:18)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (5-3; 75-69 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)
Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)
Feb. 5 vs. MIN: W, 5-4 (GDG-Reinhart)
Feb. 21 at TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stamkos)
March 7 at CHI: L, 5-4 (GDG-Kane)
March 17 vs. STL: W, 4-3 (GDG-Reinhart)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 217 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 10th in franchise history)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 1 assist … 300 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 2 assists … 200 career assists 

RECENT MILESTONES
William Borgen … 1st NHL game … March 26 at OTT
Victor Olofsson … 1st NHL game … March 28 vs. DET
Victor Olofsson … 1st NHL point (assist) … March 28 vs. DET
Jack Eichel … 100th NHL goal … March 28 vs. DET
Victor Olofsson … 1st NHL goal … March 30 at NYI

Game Preview: 3/30/19 at NY Islanders

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, March 28
Detroit 5 at Buffalo 4 (OT)
Goals: Okposo, Scandella, Mittelstadt, Eichel
Goalie: Ullmark (29 saves/34 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 2/3; Shots: Buffalo 39 – Detroit 34

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 228)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Jake McCabe (upper body, March 4) – 12 games
Matt Hunwick (upper body, March 23) – 4 games
Zach Bogosian (lower body, March 25) – 3 games
Rasmus Ristolainen (illness, March 26) – 2 games
Evan Rodrigues (upper body, March 28) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/24: Recalled D Lawrence Pilut from Rochester (AHL)
3/26: Signed D Casey Fitzgerald to a two-year, entry-level contract with an AAV of $925,000; Recalled D William Borgen from Rochester (AHL)
3/27: Recalled F Victor Olofsson from Rochester (AHL)
3/28: Recalled D Matt Tennyson from Rochester (AHL); Assigned F Tage Thompson to Rochester (AHL)

REMAINING GAMES
Sunday, March 31: Columbus at Buffalo, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, April 2: Nashville at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, April 4: Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 6: Buffalo at Detroit, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at ISLANDERS

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Islanders this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated New York 3-1 in Buffalo on Feb. 12
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Islanders; 5-4-1 on the road.
  • This is the 171st game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has an 82-64-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 36-36-12 on the road against the Islanders all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-11-5 all-time on March 30.
  • March 30, 2007: Chris Drury records three points (2+1), including his career-best 37th goal of the season, as the Sabres top the New York Islanders 6-4 in Buffalo.
  • March 30, 2011: Jhonas Enroth makes 23 saves to record his first career shutout in a 1-0 victory over the New York Rangers at home.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a win tonight, the Sabres will have won the season series against the Islanders for the first time since the 2015-16 season (2-1-0).
  • Kyle Okposo has tallied a point in each of his last four games against his former club (2+2).
  • Jack Eichel has totaled seven points (2+5) in his five meetings with the Islanders since the beginning of last season, including three points (1+2) in two games in New York.
  • Casey Mittelstadt recorded an assist in his only previous matchup with the Islanders.
  • Linus Ullmark is 3-1-0 in four career games against the Islanders with a .938 save percentage and a 1.75 goals-against average.
  • Buffalo’s penalty kill is 10-for-11 (90.9 percent) in the team’s last six games against the Islanders.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens Buffalo’s final of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night vs. Columbus. The Sabres are 7-7-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-7-2 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in their previous back-to-back sets is: four points (3), three points (1), two points (6), one point (2) and zero points (3).

A FRESH START

  • Through his first 15 games with the Sabres, Brandon Montour has recorded eight points (2+6), tying Jack Eichel (6+2) for most points during that stretch. Six of his eight points as a Sabre (2+4) have come at even strength.
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Montour’s CF%, FF% and SCF% during 5-on-5 play through 15 games with the Sabres top his full-season rates in each of those categories from both of his first two NHL seasons, as well as his rates through 62 games with Anaheim this season.
  • In these 15 games, Montour has also seen a drastic uptick in scoring rates in goals (.44), assists (.65) and points (1.09) per 60 minutes played at 5-on-5 compared to his rates from the last two seasons.

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • Entering play Friday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked third among all NHL rookies in points (41). His 33 assists ranked second among all rookies.
  • With 41 points (8+33) through 77 games, Dahlin is already guaranteed to finish the season with more points per game than he had in the Swedish Hockey League last season, when he totaled 20 points (7+13) in 41 games for Frölunda.
  • With his assist on March 20 vs. Toronto, Dahlin passed Bobby Orr (38 points in 1966-67) for the second-most points ever recorded by an NHL defenseman before his 19th birthday, trailing only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83).
  • With seven multi-point games so far this season, Dahlin has recorded more multi-point games as an 18-year-old than all but two defensemen in NHL history: Housley (13) and Orr (8).
  • Dahlin’s three game-winning goals this season are the most ever recorded by a Sabres rookie defenseman. His total also ties for ninth-most by any Sabres rookie and eighth-most in a season by any defenseman in franchise history.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel has set new career-high marks in goals (27), assists (49) and points (76) this season. He is the first Sabres player to record at least 75 points in a season since Derek Roy (81) and Jason Pominville (80) both did so in 2007-08.
  • Eichel is the first Sabres player to record at least 45 assists in a season since Tim Connolly recorded 48 in 2009-10. The last Sabre to record at least 50 assists was Pominville (53) in 2007-08.
  • He has also joined Rick Martin and Thomas Vanek as the third player in franchise history to record at least 20 goals in each of his first four NHL seasons.

SKINNER, SKINNER, CHICKEN DINNER

  • Jeff Skinner has scored 37 goals this season, becoming the fifth player ever to score at least 35 in his first season with the Sabres and tying his previous single-season high set in 2016-17.
  • With his next goal, he will tie Gilbert Perreault (1970-71) and Ray Sheppard (1987-88) for third-most ever scored by a first-year Sabre.
  • Skinner’s 29 even-strength goals are already the most ever recorded by player in his first year with the Sabres, breaking a record previously held by Danny Gare (26) since 1974-75.
  • Skinner has a chance to become the first Sabres player to score at least 40 goals since Thomas Vanek (40) in 2008-09. He would become just the 11th different player in Sabres history to score at least 40 in a season.

LEADING THE WAY
Each of the Sabres’ top three scorers is currently on pace to top his previous personal best in points this season:

Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 72 27 49 76 19 34 53
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 77 29 52 81 20 36 57
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 77 20 42 62 18 30 48
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 21 45 66 19 32 51
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 77 37 23 60 29 15 44
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 39 24 64 31 16 47

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 3/29 games)

  • Eichel: 284 S (7th)
  • Ristolainen: 24:42 TOI/GP (9th)
  • Skinner: 3 OTG (T-3rd), 29 EVG (T-6th), 7 GWG (T-7th)

BUF-NYI CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Islanders director of goaltending Mitch Korn served as the Sabres goaltending coach for eight seasons (1990 to 1998).
  • Islanders G Robin Lehner played for the Sabres for three seasons (2015 to 2018), finishing his tenure with the team with a 42-61-22 record, 2.77 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.

Former Islanders:

  • Islanders F Kyle Okposo was selected by the Islanders in the first round (7th overall) of the 2006 NHL Draft. He spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Islanders (2007 to 2016), recording 369 points (139+230) in 529 games.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played with Islanders F Andrew Ladd in Atlanta and Winnipeg.

Jason Botterill:

  • Was the assistant general manager for the Penguins when Islanders G Thomas Greiss and F Tom Kuhnhackl were playing in Pittsburgh.

Chris Hajt:

  • Played with Islanders assistant coach John Gruden in Washington.

Phil Housley:

  • Played in New Jersey when Islanders General Manager Lou Lamoriello was the general manager of the Devils and Islanders assistant general manager Chris Lamoriello was a scout for the team.
  • Was an assistant coach in Nashville alongside Islanders associate coach Lane Lambert and director of goaltending Mitch Korn when Islanders Head Coach Barry Trotz was the head coach of the Predators.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played with Islanders D Johnny Boychuk in Boston.
  • Played with Islanders F Tom Kuhnhackl in Pittsburgh.
  • Played with Islanders F Leo Komarov and F Matt Martin in Toronto. Islanders General Manager Lou Lamoriello was the general manager of the Maple Leafs during Hunwick’s tenure with the team.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Islanders F Cal Clutterbuck in Minnesota.
  • Played for Team Sweden with Islanders G Robin Lehner at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played for Team USA with Islanders F Brock Nelson at the 2014 and 2016 IIHF World Championships.

Davis Payne:

  • Played with Islanders assistant coach John Gruden in Boston.

Jason Pominville:

  • Played with Islanders F Cal Clutterbuck in Minnesota.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Played for Team Finland with Islanders F Valtteri Filppula at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Marco Scandella:

  • Played with Islanders F Cal Clutterbuck in Minnesota.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Islanders F Tom Kuhnhackl in Pittsburgh.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played for Team Canada with Islanders F Cal Clutterbuck at the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
  • Represented Canada with Islanders F Jordan Eberle and F Andrew Ladd at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 IIHF World Championships.

Steve Smith:

  • Was a scout for the Blackhawks when Islanders F Andrew Ladd was playing in Chicago.
  • Was an assistant coach for the Oilers when Islanders F Jordan Eberle was playing in Edmonton.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played with Islanders D Johnny Boychuk in Boston.

Scott Wilson:

  • Played with Islanders G Thomas Greiss and F Tom Kuhnhackl in Pittsburgh.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (219), Girgensons (136), Larsson (106)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (119), Bogosian (116), McCabe (95)
Shots: Eichel (284), Skinner (256), Ristolainen (177)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 4-6-0 (8), 30/34, 1/25, 14/20
51-60: 3-6-1 (7), 26/38, 7/30, 19/22
61-70: 2-8-0 (4), 23/39, 6/27, 18/26
71-80: 1-5-1 (3), 17/30. 3/18, 13/18

OVERTIME RESULTS (7-7; 120-128 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)
Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)
Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)
Jan. 16 at CGY: W, 4-3 (GWG-Eichel, 1:10)
Feb. 8 vs. CAR: L, 6-5 (GWG-Teravainen, 3:25)
March 1 vs. PIT: W, 4-3 (GWG-Sheary, 4:11)
March 28 vs. DET: L, 5-4 (GWG-Bertuzzi, 2:18)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (6-2; 76-68 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)
Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)
Feb. 5 vs. MIN: W, 5-4 (GDG-Reinhart)
Feb. 21 at TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stamkos)
March 7 at CHI: L, 5-4 (GDG-Kane)
March 17 vs. STL: W, 4-3 (GDG-Reinhart)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 217 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 10th in franchise history)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 1 assist … 300 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 2 assists … 200 career assists

RECENT MILESTONES
William Borgen … 1st NHL game … March 26 at OTT
Victor Olofsson … 1st NHL game … March 28 vs. DET
Victor Olofsson … 1st NHL point (assist) … March 28 vs. DET
Jack Eichel … 100th NHL goal … March 28 vs. DET